This is an unpaid review of the Orange 60 class at OrangeTheory Fitness in Leawood, Kansas.
Oh. My. Glob. I can’t stop talking about OrangeTheory Fitness. You need to take a class, like, today.
OrangeTheory Fitness (OTF) is a high-intensity, full-body workout. You wear a heart rate monitor and your stats are displayed on a big screen so you can make sure you’re hitting your target heart rate. OTF is all about the “after burn” which just means getting to your target heart rate zone so your body keeps burning calories after the workout is over.
“Backed by the science of Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (or EPOC), Orangetheory’s heart rate monitored training is designed to maintain a target zone that stimulates metabolism and increases energy. We call it the afterburn.” – OTF
OTF ain’t cheap. You may need to take out a second mortgage to pay for your membership. Your first class is free and they lend you their branded heart rate monitor (because, of course, only their monitors work for the class). You can’t participate without their monitor either. After that it gets extremely pricey. Exact costs vary depending on promotions. I wanted to bring a friend next time and just pay the drop-in rate however it would cost me $28 a class along with a $6 fee to borrow their branded heart rate monitor. Yikes.
THE LOW DOWN
First-timers need to arrive thirty minutes early to get the lowdown on how the heck everything works. You cannot skip this. I would have been so lost without the intro. Every workout is different but consists of three parts – fancy treadmills, row machines and floor work. You do a combination of workouts with music pumping and your instructor yelling on the loudspeaker.
Everyone starts with a base pace on the treadmill: power walker, jogger, runner (I did the jogger pace which was 5.5 MPH). When the instructor says, “Push Pace,” you crank your speed up one to two miles per hour from your base. Hold on to your yoga pants for “All Out.” This is when you crank up your speed and run like it’s the zombie apocalypse. Usually you’re running anywhere from 30 seconds to two minutes. Very doable. If you hate the treadmill, then suck it up, buttercup.
The row machines are standard. You row. Floor work is fun. You do a series of dynamic moves until the instructor tells you to stop. Kinda like Crossfit (but I wouldn’t know because I’ve never taken a Crossfit class). Everyone stretches at the end of the class.
Here’s the really cool part about OTF that sets it a part from the rest: they tell you how many calories you burned along with how many minutes you were in each heart rate zone. They even email your stats to you afterwards so you have your own record. I’m a huge nerd for stats and comparing progress. The image shows my stats from my workout. Don’t ask me what splat points are. No clue.
I worked out with Chantelle. She’s friendly and the real deal. Yes, she’s yelling into a microphone but she isn’t yelling at you. She’s upbeat and makes you feel good about being there. She never called anyone out for not hitting their heart rate zone, just enthusiastically encouraged everyone to work harder and make your time count. Because of the way the classes are formatted, the instructor is limited when giving corrections or individual attention. We chatted for about twenty minutes after class. I could definitely hang out with this chick and have a few cocktails. I even introduced her to my trail running group, Mud Babes. Let’s be besties, K?
Can you guess what OTF’s favorite color is? That place is painted orange from top to bottom and I love it. It makes me feel strong and determined (there’s a psychological reason for this). There’s one workout studio with state-of-the-art equipment. All of the treadmills have high-tech computer screens. The row machines actually use water as resistance. The floor workout area has almost every piece of equipment you would want neatly organized against the wall in individual sections so you don’t have to share. There’s three bathrooms, two showers and a wall of lockers. High-top tables and chairs in the front lobby in case you want to hang out (?) along with plenty of OTF swag for purchase.
I absolutely love OrangeTheory Fitness. The workout is the perfect amount of difficulty and definitely kept my heart rate high. OTF is one of the few workout studios that really focuses on the science of calories in, calories out. Chantelle’s enthusiasm and passion is contagious. Don’t expect the same from the front desk crew as their distinct lack of enthusiasm was obvious. They did have a “Welcome Lauren” sign for me when I came in but it was already erased by the time the class was over.
If you have the extra funds and want to get serious about your fitness I highly recommend OrangeTheory Fitness. I am currently taking offers for member sponsorship.